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Middle East

Abbas 'fully confident' over UN upgrade bid

Palestinian president says his attempt to seek upgraded Palestinian status at the UN is backed by many member states.
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2012 02:08
Abbas said he would follow the UN move with steps to bridge the divide between his Fatah and its rival Hamas [Reuters]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is "fully confident" about his attempt to seek upgraded Palestinian status at the United Nations on November 29, pointing out that the move is backed by many UN member states and by all the Palestinian political factions.

"We are going to the UN fully confident in our steps. We will have our rights because you are with us," he told a crowd of around 1,000 people demonstrating support for the bid to upgrade the Palestinian rank from that of an observer entity to an observer state.

"We are on our way to the United Nations and there are a lot of states supporting us, who support peace and justice. All of the factions are with us in going to the United Nations," he said on Sunday.

"We ask for a just peace, which is agreed on by the international community which will give us our state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Without that, there is no hope at all," he said.

Abbas said the UN move would be followed by steps to bridge the bitter political divide between his Fatah movement and its Islamist rival Hamas.

"Today, the UN. After that, reconciliation, and after that, our own state," he said.

Last year, a Palestinian bid for full UN membership - in effect recognition of Palestinian statehood - fell through when it became clear it lacked the Security Council votes needed.

The current bid needs only ratification by the body's General Assembly.

Achieving non-member state status would allow Palestinians to become members of major international bodies, and create new terms of reference to any future negotiations with Israel.

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